Lots of people come to Norwich and ask me ‘where is good to shop?’ or where to drink but that’s a whole other post.. Truth is there are many shopping malls with copious versions of your usual high street stores but I hate recommending shops that you can visit in any other city or that carry the same stock as many other shops. That’s boring right? I love to dress a little bit different, in pieces that make people say ‘that’s cool, not seen that before, where is it from?’
I wanted to share the fact that I often don’t go further than my own home city to find great pieces, yet these piece often look like they’ve been secured in a Brighton boutique or London vintage market at four times the price I. With Christmas round the corner I decided to pass on my secret haunts and so I have compiled a Norwich Unique List – a list of shops that provide cool things that you cannot get easily in other shops in Norwich, stuff that you don’t find easily elsewhere and shops that provide unique service that you will want to come back to.
The Rock Collection
14-16 Lower Goat Lane Norwich NR2 1EL 01603 625 055
Unique 50s dresses, rock t shirts
Opened in 2008, this alternative street-and club-wear shop specialises in niche collections from Rockabilly to Goth, Emo to Rave; they also play host to the occasional band signing. Featured designers include Cyberdog, Iron Fist, Famous Stars and Straps, Miami Ink, Macbeth, Madfish and Wildcat Body Jewellery. From the outside you may think it’s purely Cyberpunk but the have a fantastic collection of repro vintage that nowhere else in Norwich has with a fantastic Hell Bunny and H and R range for a 50s vibe.
Imeldas Shoe Emporium
1 Guildhall Hill, Norwich NR2 1JH
Unique vintage reproduction heels, stand out original footwear
Named after Imelda Marcos (known for having 2700 pairs of shoes), Imeldas is a beautiful independent shoe boutique just outside of the Norwich Lanes stocking some beautiful repro vintage and unusual brands such as Miss L Fire, Mel and Irregular Choice. Over the years the shoes I have bought there have all been so unusual and drawn comments wherever I go as they are all so unique. I challenge you to not fall in love with something when you visit.
Proudlock and Harry
44 London Street NorwichNorfolk NR2 1LA
Unique lingerie, swimwear and jewellery
A boudoir boutique, Proudlock and Harry sells high end brands in Lingerie and fashion and home accessories. The boutique is the vision of Clare Angel, a retailer with 20 years experience and a worldwide experience of luxury brands. Many of the products in store are exclusive to Proudlock and Harry in Norwich and this is what makes it a must see boutique for those of us that love beautiful things! Walking in there is wonderful – vintage inspired jewellery, swimwear and fabulous swimwear and lingerie at affordable prices – plus a beauty bar for a great pamper experience.
Gentleman’s Walk 108 Market Place, Norwich NR2 1ND
The vintage clothing section of Norwich market has really blossomed over the past few years. Since 2011 the back row of the market has been taken over by great stalls such as Taxi Vintage and Nickys vintage clothing. Prices are pretty reasonable compared to vintage stores I’ve been to in the past and the stall holders are fab – always open to negotiate. A great selection of fur coats that must be viewed if you’re in the market to update your winter wardrobe.
Chapelfield Centre, St Stephens Norwich
Unique high fashion brand at low prices
So you may think it’s weird that I am including a high street chain store in these recommendations, well fear not. H&M Norwich is one of the few stores in the UK that carried the Conscious Trend collection. This collection is a cross between catwalk and vintage – think scuba circle skirts, 70s long maxi dresses in gorgeous silks and batwing sleeved blouses. It’s a higher price than HnM normally but the look and quality is sensational. Not many stores stock the range outside of London so make sure you drop in.
117A Ipswich Road, Norwich NR4 6LD
Unique one off formal pieces for all ages
Vanilla isn’t in the city centre (annoying for a non driver like me) but it’s well worth a visit to find one off beautiful pieces that you won’t find anywhere else. One of the few independent stores to withstand the test of time, Vanilla has lasted over 20 years. It’s secret lies behind having a small but carefully thought out stock and the best customer service I’ve experienced. The store ranges from gorgeous Christmas party pieces to every day work looks for women of all ages at a range of prices. The service is akin to having your own personal shopper – as undivided or as stand off as you like. You’ll be brought heels and bags to see the full effect of an outfit, colour and fit advice and, for once it seems genuine.
35 Timber Hill, Norwich, NR1 3LA
Unique for high end designer pieces
Ginger has been providing designer clothing to Norwich ladies since 1978 so they must be doing something right. This is a great place for design inspiration to find the latest labels from D&G. DVF, Juicy Couture and many others. Yes they are expensive but they have fantastic sales and they carry so many one off pieces that are great for special occasions.